British, U.S. nationals who investigated GSK-linked scandal deported from China

Peter Humphrey

A husband-and-wife team of corporate investigators imprisoned in China for illegally obtaining private records of Chinese citizens and selling the information to clients including GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) were deported on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

Earlier this month, Peter Humphrey and Yu Yingzeng had their 2.5-year jail terms reduced after being sentenced in August last year and were released from prison. They left China around midday for London, the couple's son, Harvey Humphrey, said in a message to Reuters sent via a family friend.

Reuters quoted the British consulate in China as saying that "a British national detained in China has been deported."

The case led indirectly to a massive investigation of GSK's sales practices in China that resulted in a $489 million fine against the firm last year for paying bribes to have doctors prescribe its drugs.

Humphrey and Yu owned risk consultancy firm ChinaWhys. They were originally asked to compile a report into the origins of a sex video involving the drug company's former China head, Mark Reilly. Reilly was also convicted in the bribery case.

The video had reportedly been sent to senior GSK executives along with emails alleging corruption, Reuters said.

- here's the Reuters story